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Bass Strait () is a sea
strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrowing, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. The surface water generally flows at the same elevation on both sides and through the strait in either direction. Most commonly i ...

strait
separating
Tasmania Tasmania (), abbreviated as TAS, is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atol ...
from the
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
n mainland, specifically the state of
Victoria Victoria most commonly refers to: * Victoria (Australia), a state of the Commonwealth of Australia * Victoria, British Columbia, provincial capital of British Columbia, Canada * Victoria (mythology), Roman goddess of Victory * Victoria, Seychelles ...
. Formed 8,000 years ago by rising sea levels, the Bass Strait was named after explorer and physician
George Bass George Bass (; 30 January 1771 – after 5 February 1803) was a British naval surgeon and explorer of Australia. Early years Bass was born on 30 January 1771 at Aswarby, a hamlet near Sleaford, Lincolnshire, the son of a tenant farmer, George ...

George Bass
.


Extent

The
International Hydrographic Organization The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) is an intergovernmental organisation representing hydrography. As of December 2021 the IHO comprised 96 Member States. A principal aim of the IHO is to ensure that the world's seas, oceans and ...
defines the limits of Bass Strait as follows: :''On the west.'' The eastern limit of the
Great Australian Bight The Great Australian Bight is a large ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
Great Australian Bight
eing_a_line_from_Cape_Otway,_Australia,_to_King_Island_(Tasmania).html" ;"title="Cape_Otway.html" ;"title="eing a line from Cape Otway">eing a line from Cape Otway, Australia, to King Island (Tasmania)">King Island and thence to Cape Grim, the northwest extreme of Tasmania]. :''On the east.'' The western limit of the
Tasman Sea The Tasman Sea (Māori Māori or Maori can refer to: Relating to the Māori people * Māori people of New Zealand, or members of that group * Māori language, the language of the Māori people of New Zealand * Māori culture * Cook Islanders ...

Tasman Sea
between Gabo Island and Eddystone Point [being a line from Gabo Island (near Cape Howe, 37°30′S) to the northeast point of East Sister Island (148°E) thence along the 148th meridian east, 148th meridian to
Flinders Island Flinders Island, the largest island in the Furneaux Group The Furneaux Group is a group of approximately 100 islands located at the eastern end of Bass Strait, between Victoria (Australia), Victoria and Tasmania, Australia. The islands w ...
; beyond this Island a line running to the Eastward of the Vansittart Shoals to
ape Apes (Hominoidea ) are a branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientis ...

ape
Barren Island
Barren Island
, and from Cape Barren (the easternmost point of
ape Apes (Hominoidea ) are a branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientis ...

ape
Barren Island) to Eddystone Point (41°S) n Tasmania


Differing views of location and context

Some authorities consider the strait to be part of the
Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. ...

Pacific Ocean
as in the never-approved 2002 IHO ''Limits of Oceans and Seas'' draft. In the currently in-force IHO 1953 draft, it is instead listed as part of the Indian Ocean. The
Australian Hydrographic Service The Australian Hydrographic Service (formerly known as the Royal Australian Navy Hydrographic Service) is the Australian Government, Australian Commonwealth Government agency responsible for providing hydrographic services that meet Australia's obl ...
does not consider it to be part of the
Southern Ocean The Southern Ocean, also known as the Antarctic Ocean, comprises the southernmost waters of the World Ocean The ocean (also the sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or ...

Southern Ocean
, using the expanded Australian definition, and states that it lies with the Tasman Sea. The strait between the
Furneaux Islands The Furneaux Group is a group of approximately 100 islands located at the eastern end of Bass Strait, between Victoria (Australia), Victoria and Tasmania, Australia. The islands were named after British navigator Tobias Furneaux, who sighted th ...
and Tasmania is
Banks Strait The Clarke Island (also known by its Indigenous name of ''Lungtalanana Island''), part of the Furneaux Group, is an island in Bass Strait, south of Cape Barren Island, about off the northeast coast of Tasmania, Australia. Banks Strait separates ...
, a subdivision of Bass Strait.


Discovery and exploration


By Aboriginal peoples

Aboriginal Tasmanians The Aboriginal Tasmanians (Palawa kani Palawa kani is a constructed language created by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre as a composite Tasmanian language, based on reconstructed vocabulary from the limited accounts of the various languages ...
arrived in Tasmania approximately 40,000 years ago, across a
land bridge In biogeography Biogeography is the study of the distribution of species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A sp ...
called the Bassian Plain during the last glacial period. Sea levels rose to form Bass Strait 8,000 years ago leaving them isolated from the rest of Australia. Aboriginal people lived on
Flinders Island Flinders Island, the largest island in the Furneaux Group The Furneaux Group is a group of approximately 100 islands located at the eastern end of Bass Strait, between Victoria (Australia), Victoria and Tasmania, Australia. The islands w ...
until around 4,000 years ago. Based on the recorded language groups, there were at least three successive waves of aboriginal colonisation.


By Europeans

The strait was possibly detected by Captain
Abel Tasman Abel Janszoon Tasman (; 160310 October 1659) was a Dutch seafarer A sailor, seaman, mariner, or seafarer is a person who works aboard a watercraft as part of its crew, and may work in any one of a number of different fields that are relate ...

Abel Tasman
when he charted Tasmania's coast in 1642. On 5 December, Tasman was following the east coast northward to see how far it went. When the land veered to the north-west at
Eddystone Point Eddystone Point lies on the north-east coast of Tasmania Tasmania (; abbreviated as Tas, nicknamed Tassie, xpz, Lutruwita; Palawa kani: ''Lutruwita'') is an island States and territories of Australia, state of Australia. It is located to ...
, he tried to keep in with it but his ships were suddenly hit by the
Roaring Forties The Roaring Forties are strong westerly winds found in the Southern Hemisphere The Southern Hemisphere is the half (Hemispheres of Earth, hemisphere) of Earth that is south of the Equator. It contains all or parts of five continents (Ant ...
howling through Bass Strait. Tasman was on a mission to find the Southern Continent, not more islands, so he abruptly turned away to the east and continued his continent hunting. The next European to approach the strait was Captain
James Cook Captain Captain is a title for the commander of a military unit, the commander of a ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel, or the commander of a port, fire department or police department, election precinct, etc. The captain is a milit ...

James Cook
in the ''Endeavour'' in April 1770. However, after sailing for two hours westward towards the strait against the wind, he turned back east and noted in his journal that he was "doubtful whether they .e. Van Diemen's Land and New Hollandare one land or no", The strait was named after
George Bass George Bass (; 30 January 1771 – after 5 February 1803) was a British naval surgeon and explorer of Australia. Early years Bass was born on 30 January 1771 at Aswarby, a hamlet near Sleaford, Lincolnshire, the son of a tenant farmer, George ...

George Bass
, after he and
Matthew Flinders Captain (Royal Navy), Captain Matthew Flinders (16 March 1774 – 19 July 1814) was a British navigator and cartographer who led the first littoral zone, inshore circumnavigate, circumnavigation of the landmass that is now known as Australia. ...

Matthew Flinders
sailed across it while circumnavigating
Van Diemen's Land Van Diemen's Land was the original name of the island of Tasmania during the European exploration of Australia in the 19th century. A British settlement was established in Van Diemen's Land in 1803 before it became a separate colony in 1825. ...
(now named
Tasmania Tasmania (), abbreviated as TAS, is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atol ...
) in the ''
Norfolk Norfolk () is a rural and non-metropolitan county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambe ...
'' in 1798–99. At Flinders' recommendation, the Governor of New South Wales, John Hunter, in 1800 named the stretch of water between the mainland and Van Diemen's Land "Bass's Straits". Later it became known as Bass Strait. The existence of the strait had been suggested in 1797 by the master of ''
Sydney Cove Sydney Cove, officially dual-named with its original Aboriginal Aborigine, aborigine or aboriginal may refer to: * Indigenous peoples, ethnic groups who are the original or earliest known inhabitants of an area **List of indigenous peoples, ...
'' when he reached Sydney after deliberately grounding his foundering ship and being stranded on
Preservation Island Preservation Island view from south east, Clarke Island beneath Preservation Island is a low and undulating granite and calcarenite island, with an area of 207 hectare, ha, in south-eastern Australia. It is part of Tasmania’s Preservation Island ...
(at the eastern end of the strait). He reported that the strong south westerly swell and the tides and currents suggested that the island was in a channel linking the Pacific and southern Indian Ocean. Governor Hunter thus wrote to
Joseph Banks Sir Joseph Banks, 1st Baronet, (19 June 1820) was an English Natural history, naturalist, botanist, and patron of the natural sciences. Banks made his name on the 1766 natural-history expedition to Newfoundland and Labrador. He took part in ...
in August 1797 that it seemed certain a strait existed. When news of the 1798 discovery of Bass Strait reached Europe, the French government despatched a reconnaissance expedition commanded by
Nicolas Baudin Nicolas Thomas Baudin (; 17 February 1754 – 16 September 1803) was a French explorer, cartographer, naturalist and hydrographer. Biography Early career Born a commoner in Saint-Martin-de-Ré on the Île de Ré on 17 February 1754, Nic ...
. This prompted Governor King to send two vessels from Sydney to the island to establish a garrison at Hobart.


Maritime history

Strong currents between the Antarctic-driven southeast portions of the
Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of and contains 97% of . Another definition is "any of the large ...

Indian Ocean
and the
Tasman Sea The Tasman Sea (Māori Māori or Maori can refer to: Relating to the Māori people * Māori people of New Zealand, or members of that group * Māori language, the language of the Māori people of New Zealand * Māori culture * Cook Islanders ...

Tasman Sea
's
Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. ...

Pacific Ocean
waters provide a strait of powerful, wild storm waves. The shipwrecks on the Tasmanian and Victorian coastlines number in the hundreds, although stronger metal ships and modern marine
navigation Navigation is a field of study that focuses on the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another.Bowditch, 2003:799. The field of navigation includes four general categories: land navigation, ...

navigation
have greatly reduced the danger. Many vessels, some quite large, have disappeared without a trace, or left scant evidence of their passing. Despite myths and legends of
piracy Piracy is an act of robbery Robbery is the crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine publi ...

piracy
, wrecking and alleged supernatural phenomena akin to those of the
Bermuda Triangle The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil's Triangle, is a loosely defined region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean where a number of aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to flight, fly by gaining support fr ...

Bermuda Triangle
, such disappearances can be invariably ascribed to treacherous combinations of wind and sea conditions, and the numerous semi-submerged rocks and reefs within the Straits. Despite the strait's difficult waters, it provided a safer and less boisterous passage for ships on the route from Europe or India to Sydney in the early 19th century. The strait also saved on the voyage.


Geography

Bass Strait is approximately wide and long, with an average depth of . The widest opening is about 350 km between Cape Portland on the North-Eastern tip of Tasmania and Point Hicks on the Australian mainland. Jennings' study of the submarine topography of Bass Strait described the bathymetric Bass Basin, a shallow depression approximately wide and long (over in area) in the centre of Bass Strait, a maximum depth is the channel between Inner Sister and Flinders, which navigation charts indicate reaches . Two plateaus, the Bassian Rise and King Island Rise located on the eastern and western margins of Bass Strait, respectively, are composed of a basement of Palaeozoic granite. These features form sills separating Bass Basin from the adjacent ocean basins. Associated with the less than deep Bassian Rise is the Furneaux Islands, the largest of which is Flinders Island (maximum elevation ). The surface of the King Island Rise also occurs in water depths of less than , and includes the shallow () Tail Bank at its northern margin as well as King Island itself. Subaqueous dunes (sandwaves) and tidal current ridges and subaqueous dunes cover approximately of the seabed in Bass Strait. During Pleistocene low sea level stands the central basin of Bass Strait was enclosed by raised sills forming a large shallow lake. This occurred during the last glacial maximum (18,000  BP) when the basin was completely isolated. Sea level rise during the marine transgression flooded the basin, forming a marine embayment from 11,800 BP to 8700 BP and the basin rim was completely flooded by about 8000 BP, at which point Bass Strait was formed and Tasmania became a separate island. Like the rest of the waters surrounding Tasmania, and particularly because of its limited depth, it is notoriously rough, with many ships lost there during the 19th century. A lighthouse was erected on Deal Island in 1848 to assist ships in the eastern part of the Straits, but there were no guides to the western entrance until the
Cape Otway Cape Otway is a cape and a bounded locality of the Colac Otway Shire in southern Victoria (Australia), Victoria, Australia on the Great Ocean Road; much of the area is enclosed in the Great Otway National Park. History Cape Otway was originally i ...

Cape Otway
Lighthouse was first lit in 1848, followed by another at Cape Wickham at the northern end of King Island in 1861.


Islands

There are over 50 islands in Bass Strait. Major islands include: Western section: * King Island * Three Hummock Island * Hunter Island * Robbins Island South eastern section: *
Furneaux Group The Furneaux Group is a group of approximately 100 islands located at the eastern end of Bass Strait, between Victoria (Australia), Victoria and Tasmania, Australia. The islands were named after British navigator Tobias Furneaux, who sighted t ...
**
Flinders Island Flinders Island, the largest island in the Furneaux Group The Furneaux Group is a group of approximately 100 islands located at the eastern end of Bass Strait, between Victoria (Australia), Victoria and Tasmania, Australia. The islands w ...
(where the surviving
Aboriginal Tasmanians The Aboriginal Tasmanians (Palawa kani Palawa kani is a constructed language created by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre as a composite Tasmanian language, based on reconstructed vocabulary from the limited accounts of the various languages ...
were
exiled ''Exiled'' () is a 2006 Hong Kong action drama film produced and directed by Johnnie To Johnnie To Kei-fung (born 22 April 1955) is a Hong Kong film director and producer. Popular in his native Hong Kong, To has also found acclaim overseas. ...
) **
Cape Barren Island Cape Barren Island ( Palawa kani: ''truwana''), part of the Furneaux Group, is a island in the Bass Strait, off the north east coast of Tasmania, Australia. The largest island of the Furneaux Group, Flinders Island, Tasmania, Flinders Island, l ...

Cape Barren Island
** Clarke Island ** Sister Islands Group ** and several other islands North eastern section: *
Kent Group The Kent Group are a grouping of six granite Granite () is a coarse-grained igneous rock composed mostly of quartz, alkali feldspar, and plagioclase. It forms from magma with a high content of silica and alkali metal oxides that slowly ...
** Deal Island ** and 3 smaller islands * Hogan Island * Curtis Island


Protected areas


Federal

Within Bass Strait there are several Commonwealth marine reserves, which are all part of the South-east Network. The two larger reserves, Flinders and Zeehan, extend mostly outside of the Bass Strait area. *
Apollo Apollo, grc, Ἀπόλλωνος, ''Apóllōnos'', label=genitive , ; , grc-dor, Ἀπέλλων, ''Apéllōn'', ; grc, Ἀπείλων, ''Apeílōn'', label=Arcadocypriot Greek, ; grc-aeo, Ἄπλουν, ''Áploun'', la, Apollō, ...
*
Beagle The beagle is a breed A breed is a specific group of domestic animals having homogeneous appearance (phenotype), homogeneous behavior, and/or other characteristics that distinguish it from other organisms of the same species. In literat ...
* Boags *
East Gippsland East Gippsland is the eastern region of Gippsland, Victoria, Australia covering 31,740 square kilometres (14%) of Victoria (Australia), Victoria. It has a population of 80,114. Australian Bureau of Statistics2006 Census Community Profile Series: ...
* Flinders *
Franklin Franklin may refer to: People * Franklin (given name) * Franklin (surname) * Franklin (class), a member of a historical English social class Places Australia * Franklin, Tasmania, a township * Division of Franklin, federal electoral divis ...
*
Zeehan Zeehan is a town on the West Coast, Tasmania, west coast of Tasmania, Australia south-west of Burnie, Tasmania, Burnie. It is located north of Strahan, Tasmania and Queenstown, Tasmania. In the early 1900s it had its own council. It is current ...


State

The smaller islands of Bass Strait typically have some form of protection status. Most notably the Kent Group National Park covers the
Kent Group The Kent Group are a grouping of six granite Granite () is a coarse-grained igneous rock composed mostly of quartz, alkali feldspar, and plagioclase. It forms from magma with a high content of silica and alkali metal oxides that slowly ...
islands of Tasmania, as well as the surrounding state waters which is a dedicated marine reserve. The national park is wholly contained by the Beagle Commonwealth Marine Reserve. Victoria has several marine national parks in Bass Strait, and are all adjacent to the mainland coastline: * Bunurong * Ninety Mile Beach * * *
Twelve Apostles upright=1.35, Jesus and his Twelve Apostles, Chi-Rho symbol ☧, Catacombs of Domitilla">Chi_Rho.html" ;"title="fresco with the Chi Rho">Chi-Rho symbol ☧, Catacombs of Domitilla, Rome In Christian theology and ecclesiology, apostles, partic ...

Twelve Apostles
*
Wilsons Promontory The Wilsons Promontory, also known as Yiruk and Wamoon in the Gunai language, Gunai and Bunwurrung languages respectively, is a peninsula that forms the southernmost part of the Australian mainland, located in the state of Victoria (Australia) ...


Natural resources

A number of oil and gas fields exist in the eastern portion of Bass Strait, in what is known as the Gippsland Basin. Most large fields were discovered in the 1960s, and are located about off the coast of
Gippsland Gippsland is a rural In general, a rural area or a countryside is a geographic area that is located outside town A town is a . Towns are generally larger than s and smaller than , though the criteria to distinguish between them vary ...
in water depths of about . These oil fields include the Halibut Field discovered in 1967, the Cobia Field discovered in 1972, the Kingfish Field, the Mackerel Field, and the Fortescue Field discovered in 1978.Hendrich, J.H., Palmer, I.D., and Schwebel, D.A., 1992, Fortescue Field, Gippsland Basin, Offshore Australia, In Giant Oil and Gas Fields of the Decade, 1978-1988, AAPG Memoir 54, Halbouty, M.T., editor, Tulsa: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Large gas fields include the Whiptail field, the Barracouta Field, the Snapper Field, and the Marlin Field. Oil and gas are produced from the
Cretaceous The Cretaceous ( ) is a geological period A geological period is one of the several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place. These periods form elements of a hierarchy of division ...

Cretaceous
-
Eocene The Eocene ( ) Epoch is a geological epoch In chronology 222px, Joseph Scaliger's ''De emendatione temporum'' (1583) began the modern science of chronology Chronology (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the ...
clastic rock Clastic rocks are composed of fragments, or clasts, of pre-existing minerals In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with t ...
s of the Latrobe Group, deposited with the break-up of Australia and Antarctica. The western field, known as the
Otway Basin The Otway Basin is a northwest trending sedimentary basin located along the southern coast of Australia. The basin covers an area of 150,000 square kilometers and spans from southeastern South Australia to southwestern Victoria (Australia), Victori ...
, was discovered in the 1990s offshore near
Port Campbell Port Campbell () is a coastal town in Victoria (Australia), Victoria, Australia. The town is on the Great Ocean Road, west of the The Twelve Apostles (Victoria), Twelve Apostles, in the Shire of Corangamite. It is popular for day trips as the s ...

Port Campbell
. Its exploitation began in 2005. The oil and gas is sent via pipeline to gas processing facilities and oil refineries at
Longford Longford () is the county town of County Longford in Ireland. It has a population of 10,008 according to the 2016 census. It is the biggest town in the county and about one third of the county's population lives there. Longford lies at the meet ...
( Longford gas plant),
Western Port Western Port, (Boonwurrung language, Boonwurrung: ''Warn Marin'') commonly but unofficially known as Western Port Bay, is a large Tide, tidal bay in southern Victoria (Australia), Victoria, Australia, opening into Bass Strait. It is the second ...
(
Westernport Refinery Westernport Refinery was an oil refinery operated by BP at Crib Point adjacent to Westernport Bay in the Australian state of Victoria (Australia), Victoria. It was constructed from 1963 and started operations in 1966. Its last day of operation was ...
closed 1985), Altona ( Altona Refinery scheduled to close in 2021) and
Geelong Geelong () ( Wathawurrung: ''Djilang''/''Djalang'') is a port city A port is a maritime Maritime may refer to: Geography * Maritime Alps, a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps * Maritime Region, a region in ...

Geelong
(
Geelong Oil Refinery The Geelong Oil Refinery is an oil refinery owned and operated by Viva Energy in Corio, Victoria, Corio near Geelong in the Australian state of Victoria (Australia), Victoria. In 2017, it was Australia's second-largest oil refinery, able to proce ...
), as well as by tanker to
New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...
. Pipelines from the Otway Basin gas fields lead to several processing facilities in the vicinity of
Port Campbell Port Campbell () is a coastal town in Victoria (Australia), Victoria, Australia. The town is on the Great Ocean Road, west of the The Twelve Apostles (Victoria), Twelve Apostles, in the Shire of Corangamite. It is popular for day trips as the s ...

Port Campbell
(
Iona Gas Plant The Iona Gas Plant is a natural gas processing and underground storage facility at Waarre, Victoria, Waarre near Port Campbell, Victoria, Port Campbell in the Australian state of Victoria (Australia), Victoria. The Iona Gas Plant is owned by Lochar ...
and Otway Gas Plant). In June 2017, the
Government of Victoria The Victoria State Government, also referred to as just the Victorian Government, is the state-level authority for Victoria Victoria most commonly refers to: * Victoria (Australia), a state of the Commonwealth of Australia * Victoria, Britis ...
announced a three-year feasibility study for Australia's first
offshore wind farm Offshore wind power or offshore wind energy is the deployment of wind farms sited in bodies of water. Higher wind speeds are available offshore compared to on land, so offshore farms' electricity generation is higher per amount of capacity inst ...

offshore wind farm
. The project, which could have 250
wind turbine A wind turbine is a device that converts Religious conversion is the adoption of a set of beliefs identified with one particular religious denomination A religious denomination is a subgroup within a religion Religion is a social ...

wind turbine
s within a area, is projected to deliver around 8,000 
GWh The kilowatt-hour ( SI symbol: kW⋅h or kW h; commonly written as kWh) is a unit Unit may refer to: Arts and entertainment * UNIT, a fictional military organization in the science fiction television series ''Doctor Who'' * Unit of actio ...
of electricity, representing some 18 per cent of Victoria's power usage and replacing a large part of the output of
Hazelwood Power Station The Hazelwood Power Station is a decommissioned Lignite, brown coal-fuelled thermal power station located in the Latrobe Valley of Victoria (Australia), Victoria, Australia. Built between 1964 and 1971, the 1,600-megawatt-capacity power station ...

Hazelwood Power Station
, which was closed in early 2017.


Infrastructure


Transport

The fastest and often the cheapest method of travel across Bass Strait is by
air The atmosphere of Earth is the layer of gas Gas is one of the four fundamental states of matter In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (ph ...
. The major airports in Tasmania are
Hobart International Airport Hobart Airport is an International airport located in Cambridge, Tasmania, Cambridge, north-east of Hobart. It is the major passenger airport in Tasmania. The Government of Australia, Federal government owned airport is operated by the Tas ...

Hobart International Airport
and
Launceston Airport Launceston Airport is a regional airport on the outskirts of Launceston, Tasmania. The airport is located in the rural area of Western Junction, Tasmania, Western Junction from Launceston city centre. It is Tasmania's fastest growing airport, ...
, where the main airlines are
Jetstar Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd, operating as Jetstar, is an Australian Low-cost carrier, low-cost airline (self-described as "value-based") headquartered in Melbourne. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Qantas, created in response to the threat posed ...
and
Virgin Australia Virgin Australia, the trading name of Virgin Australia Airlines Pty Ltd, is an Australian-based airline. It is the largest airline by fleet size to use the Virgin Virginity is the state of a person who has never engaged in sexual interc ...
.
Qantas Qantas Airways Limited ( ) is the flag carrier A flag carrier is a transport Transport (commonly used in the U.K.), or transportation (used in the U.S.), is the Motion, movement of humans, animals and cargo, goods from one locatio ...

Qantas
also operates services. The smaller airports in the north of the state and on the islands in the strait are served either by Regional Express Airlines, QantasLink or King Island Airlines.


Ferries

The domestic sea route is serviced by two Spirit of Tasmania passenger vehicle ferry, ferries, based in Devonport, Tasmania, Devonport,
Tasmania Tasmania (), abbreviated as TAS, is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atol ...
. The ships travel daily in opposite directions between Devonport and Station Pier in Melbourne as overnight trips, with additional daytime trips during the peak summer season.


Energy

The Basslink HVDC electrical cable has been in service since 2006. It has the capacity to carry up to 630 megawatts of electrical power across the strait. Alinta owns a submarine pipeline transport, gas pipeline, delivering natural gas to large industrial customers near George Town, Tasmania, George Town, as well as the Powerco gas network in Tasmania.


Communications

The first submarine communications cable across Bass Strait was laid in 1859. Starting at
Cape Otway Cape Otway is a cape and a bounded locality of the Colac Otway Shire in southern Victoria (Australia), Victoria, Australia on the Great Ocean Road; much of the area is enclosed in the Great Otway National Park. History Cape Otway was originally i ...

Cape Otway
,
Victoria Victoria most commonly refers to: * Victoria (Australia), a state of the Commonwealth of Australia * Victoria, British Columbia, provincial capital of British Columbia, Canada * Victoria (mythology), Roman goddess of Victory * Victoria, Seychelles ...
, it went via King Island, Tasmania, King Island and Three Hummock Island, made contact with the Tasmanian mainland at Stanley, Tasmania, Stanley Head, and then continued on to George Town, Tasmania, George Town. However it started failing within a few weeks of completion, and by 1861 it failed completely. Tasmania is currently connected to the mainland via two Telstra-operated fibre optic cables; since 2006, dark fibre capacity has also been available on the Basslink HVDC cable. Other submarine cables include:


Popular culture

In 1978, one of the most famous UFO incidents in Australian history occurred over Bass Strait. Frederick Valentich was flying a small aeroplane over the strait when he reported to personnel at a local airport that a strange object was buzzing his plane. He then claimed that the object had moved directly in front of his plane; the airport personnel then heard a metallic "scraping" sound, followed by silence. Valentich and his plane subsequently vanished and neither Valentich nor his plane were ever seen again. The issue of planes, ships and people having been lost in the strait over time has spawned a number of theories. Perhaps the most thorough list of losses and disappearances has been the oft reprinted book of Jack Loney though it is possible that most losses can be adequately explained by extreme weather events. On the popular Australian soap ''Neighbours'', one of its most dramatic storylines unfolded when a 1940s themed joy flight to Tasmania was sabotaged by a bomb. The plane crash (Neighbours), The plane crashed into Bass Strait in the middle of the night and many character's lives were put at risk, with some drowning.


Non-motorised crossings

Bass Strait is regularly crossed by sailing vessels, including during the annual Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race. The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race passes generally east of the strait but is affected by its weather conditions.


Sailing

The first Windsurfing, windsurfer crossing was in 1982 by Mark Paul and Les Tokolyi. In 1998 Australian offshore sailor Nick Moloney took on a different challenge by being the first person to windsurfer unaided across the Bass Strait in a time of 22 hours. Interms of dinghy sailing many crossing have been made but in March 2005 Australian Olympic medalist Michael Blackburn (athlete), Michael Blackburn set a record when he crossed the strait in just over 13 hours in a Laser (dinghy), Laser Dinghy sailing, sailing dinghy. In March 2009 two young dinghy sailors sailed a B14 (dinghy) from Stanley in north west Tasmania to Walkerville South in Victoria. The purpose of the voyage was to raise funds for the treatment of the endangered Tasmanian Devil, an animal species suffering from a facial tumour disease and, if possible, break the dinghy sailing time record for the crossing. The sailors Adrian Beswick and Josh Philips accompanied by a support vessel successfully completed the crossing in 14 hours 53 minutes. Kitesurfing, Kitesurfers have also completed the crossing with Natalie Clark in 2010 become the first female todo the crossing.


Rowing / Paddling

In 1971 lone rower David Bowen from Mount Martha, Victoria, Mount Martha crossed Bass Strait in a dory, leaving from Devonport he landed on Wilson's Promontory. The first crossing by paddleboard was made by Jack Bark, Brad Gaul and Zeb Walsh, leaving Wilsons Promontory in Victoria on 25 February 2014 and arriving at Cape Portland in northeastern Tasmania on 4 March 2014. Rod Harris, Ian and Peter Richards are credited with the first kayak crossing in 1971. Many sea kayakers have since made the crossing, usually by island hopping on the eastern side of the strait. Fewer sea kayak crossings have been made via King Island, due to the leg between Cape Wickam and Apollo Bay. Andrew McAuley was the first person to cross Bass Strait non-stop in a sea kayak in 2003. He made two more crossings of Bass Strait before he died attempting to cross the Tasman Sea in February 2007.


Swimming

Tammy van Wisse swam part of the strait in 1996, from King Island to Apollo Bay in Victoria, a distance of about in 17 hours and 46 minutes.


See also

* South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network


References


Further reading

* Broxam and Nash, ''Tasmanian Shipwrecks'', Volumes I and II, Navarine Publishing, Canberra, 1998 & 2000. * Cameron-Ash, M. ''Lying for the Admiralty: Captain Cook's Endeavour Voyage'', 2018, Rosenberg Publishing, Sydney,


External links


Tasmanian Department of State Development - Redi Map
* * * {{Authority control Bass Strait, Bodies of water of Victoria (Australia) Straits of Australia Bodies of water of Tasmania